Thanks to Facebook, I just reconnected with a friend I knew in elementary school, all but 20 years ago. He was referred to me by another friend from elementary school, this guy I knew even longer… the miracles of Facebook. When my old friend Simon suggested I might remember Johnny Hampton – that just made my day. I remember trying to argue with Johnny when I was a kid and I could never out-argue this guy, plus it didn’t help the fact that he was making me laugh the whole time anyway. I remember Howard Mak, the brilliant kid who was a great friend until his mom told him to stop hanging out with me.. apparently I was a bad influence.
I remember Warren Brehl getting me in an armlock and making me cry, only because I had regrettably called him a “Nazi”. I had no clue what it meant, except that this German boy took great offense to that, yelling at me, “do you know what that is???” I remember James Calabrese’ prodigious knowledge of baseball trivia going all the way back to Mantle and Dimaggio. For cryin’ out loud, the kid was like 9 at the time. I remember hanging out with Simon at Carlyle towers and dropping God-knows-what from the balcony on unsuspecting passers-by. I remember Michael Lee, who I loved a great deal because he looked after me like a big brother all the way back to kindergarten. He changed his Korean name “Myung kyu” to “Michael” only because he loved Knight Rider that much. I would give a million bucks to meet that guy again. Apparently he has lived in Korea much of his life and has forgotten how to speak English :( I remember Alan Moy and how he donned a bow-tie one day and gave flowers to the class hottie, Kimberly West. All the guys were in awe of how Alan summoned up the courage. I remember Kimberly Crane and her beautiful singing voice. I remember John Caruso, the perverted little Italian kid. Every girl had a crush on him. I remember Allishaw Sakoor if only because of her name. I remember Kenny something… who was ashamed of his Indian identity. Hence the “something”. I remember Karthi Bar – something and the awesome birthday party he had – I got him a transformer. I remember a kid from Romania that we all gave a hard time. I don’t know why. I remember Theresa something or another, who was one of the first platonic girl friends I had. She was a great gal. I remember Michael Morrison, changing his name to Michael Bitter because he was dealt a bad hand in life. I had a brain concussion in first grade because I was chasing him on the playground and tripped over a pipe. Michael, I never held it against you. You know what? I remember Izumi Yoshioka. Who could forget her… what ever happened to that girl? Dang… a flood of memories.
If you actually read through all of this, it’s probably because you went to PS 24 and you remember it with me… with fondness.
Thanks and a shout out to James Calabrese (second from top left) – who I just reconnected with after 2 decades – for sending me the above pic. Talk about memories. Yep I’m in there, somewhere. And if you actually find me, hey, we all have our awkward stages. For me it began just a little bit early – ahem, in kindergarten. Dang everyone’s in there… some of these kids I spent a close 6 – 7 years with in the public school system…
and some more courtesy my old friend James Calabrese (and at the risk of personally destroying my coolness factor forever):